TV Choice Magazine - After playing a hypnotic serial killer in BBC thriller The Fall and then landing the lead in hotly-anticipated movie Fifty Shades Of Grey, Jamie Dornan can’t put a foot wrong these days and returns in Channel 4's historical drama New Worlds. Set in the 1680s during the restoration period with Charles II reigning over a divided society, the action takes place in England and also across the Atlantic, where New England colonists are struggling for independence.
TV Choice caught up on set with Jamie, who plays idealistic outlaw Abe Gough, fighting against a tyrannical regime and with dreams of toppling the king…
Tell us a bit about Abe Gough…
He’s the son of a regicide who signed the death warrant of Charles I at the end of the English Civil War and fought alongside Oliver Cromwell. He’s fighting for what he believes is right and is living as an outlaw in the forest.
He falls in love with wealthy Beth Fanshawe, how do they meet?
He chases a deer into the grounds of her grand house and it’s like two worlds colliding — you see astounding differences in the two lives and it seems impossible that these two people could fall in love. The star-crossed love thing has been done many times before in many forms but it works.
Did you know much about the historical period?
I grew up in Ireland so we didn’t learn a lot about that in school or I didn’t listen! I had to do more reading than most to get an idea of the time and I found a book called Cavalier very helpful.
Does it help having the hair extensions and period costume?
Yes definitely. I sometimes catch a glimpse of myself and the reflection of the hair and garb lifts you a bit.
It’s a million miles away from your last role in The Fall…
The thing you want most as an actor is diversity of characters, but you don’t have a great deal of choice. This is something they wanted me for and I wanted to do it but it doesn’t always work like that, I got lucky.
Were you surprised by the reaction to The Fall?
You’re always a little bit surprised but they were the best scripts I’d ever read. I don’t think any of us were prepared for the scale of it.
Did you know all along there would be a second series?
There was always a plan and we talked about ideas but it was very satisfying to be recommissioned. I’ve read a breakdown for series two and it’s mind-blowingly brilliant.
Abe is quite a physical role, was that enjoyable?
He has to run a lot and is pretty active, which I’m OK with, but I’ve got a dodgy shoulder. I’ve had two surgeries since The Fall finished, so luckily there isn’t too much physical fighting. If you’re a boy and you get to run around in the woods with other boys chasing things with guns, it’s kind of the dream.
Did you sustain the injury making The Fall?
No, I was skiing a few years back and I did something stupid. In The Fall they hid it well and we shot around it but I couldn’t lift my left arm up above a certain point and I was on a lot of painkillers. When we finished and I realised how bloody sore it was, I decided to get it fixed so I’ve had two surgeries since and it’s still not quite right.
Has The Fall been a game changer?
It’s certainly upped the ante a bit professionally. I find myself in more rooms than I was previously. It certainly hasn’t done any harm.